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St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology

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May 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

JESUS, BEING OUR CHRIST, IS THE I AM – OUR PASSOVER

From in the beginning, our Lord continuously interacts with the entirety of His creation, promising to be with us always. He will not forsake or abandon us to the fears or empty promises of any dominion of death. Why? Because He is the "I AM" and Pantocrator, Jesus our Christ. He made us whole, molding our person-ness in His image and likeness. And as Pantocrator, He loves us with the understanding patience of a loving Father. And in times of stress, He provides us the comforting grace of His Spirit and newness of life. Why would He allow us to remain in subjection to a domain of bondage, especially if based upon the foolish wisdom of man, not His own?

Yes, we do such things to ourselves. And yes, the Lord allows us the consequences of poor choosing. But not to abandonment or total hopelessness. For our Lord of Lords, our Passover and Father, led His children out of the bondage of Egypt. He later liberated all from subjection to the dominion of death and Satan. Such is the wonder of a caring and watchful Father to His prodigal children.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

April 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

ST. ATHANASIUS: ON THE INCARNATION
PROPHECY OF HIS CROSS & THE END OF ALL DARKNESS

You have heard the prophecy of His death, so perhaps now you want to know what indications there are about His Cross. Even this is not passed over in silence: on the contrary, the sacred writers proclaim it with the utmost plainness. Moses foretells it first, and that right loudly, when he says, "Your Life shall hang before your eyes, and you shall fear day and night, and you will not believe in your Life." (OSB-Deut. 28:66) After him the prophets also give their witness, saying, "For I did not know I was likened to an innocent lamb led to be sacrificed. They plotted an evil device against me, saying, "Come, let us put wood in his bread and destroy him root and branch from the land of the living, so name might be not be remembered any more." (OSB - Jer. 11:17-18) And, again, "They pierced My hands and My feet, I numbered all my bones. They divided my garments among themselves and for my clothing, they cast lots." (OSB - Psalm 22:17-19).

Now a crucifixion, taking place on wood, can be none other than the death by the cross. Moreover, it is only in this death are the hands and feet pierced. Besides this, since our Savior dwelt among men, all nations every where begin to know Him as the promised One. This too Holy Scripture expressly mentions; "There shall be a Root of Jesse, and this divine One Who rises up to rule the nations. The Gentiles shall hope in Him, and His resting place shall be honorable." (OSB - Isaiah 11:10)

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

March 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT OF THE LORD AND NEIGHBOR
Is it about fasting, for the sake of food?

Years ago a good man came to a parish during its most troubling and rebellious days. I knew him then as Bishop Joseph. Perhaps unknown to him, he taught me an important lesson about following the letter of the law, and about the harshness of fasting. I gained a better appreciation of Great Lent, of our remembrance of our loving Lord and His calling us to care about our neighbor-in-need. He showed this perspective to be more important than any individual act of self-discipline. For certain, we should not blame an immature Adam and Eve, nor use the legalisms of fasting as an excuse to measure and divide people, one from another – placing the law above loving kindness.

I remain appreciative of this special person who called me friend; who prayed for my healing while in the hospital ten years ago. Thank you His Eminence and our beloved Most Rev. Metropolitan Joseph. You are a good man who cares and walk with a healing spirit. May Jesus Who is our Christ, continue to guide you and all who sit at table in His name.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

February 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

HIS PEACE AND PROMISE WORKING IN OUR PRISONS FOR THOSE SEEKING HIM WITH A SINCERE HEART

BELOW IS A LETTER FROM A PRISONER STUDENT WHO THANKS THE LORD FOR HIS FORGIVENESS AND THE EFFORTS OF THE ACADEMY TO BRING HIS GRACE AND TRUTH TO HIS WANDERING CHILDREN.

It is written in the Book of Proverbs, "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart" (11:29). So it has been with this sinner, who, because of great trouble in his own house, had to serve the wise in prison for twenty plus years. However, the Lord in His infinite mercy granted me to learn the meaning of St. Moses the Ethiopian's words, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything."

Having sat in a prison cell contemplating my lot, I saw clearly the veneer of lies that I had hid behind for so many years. "Who am I?", really, I wondered. Also, I remembered the many good Christians I had known who were still free and blessed of He Who is our One true God. Again I wondered, what do they know that I obviously don't know? I concluded, therefore that I needed to find the truth about myself and true faith. Thus, for the next two years I fully immersed myself in self-examination and a thorough re-study of the faith I had claimed, but not practiced, in the churches of Christ, Jesus.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.

January 2015 Newsletter

Dear friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

LIFE ANEW IN THE WATERS OF HIS BAPTISM
HIS NATIVITY - HIS BAPTISM – HIS CROSS

Founded upon the wealth of the Old Testament, the ancient Church provides a year-round liturgical opportunity to participate in the remembrance of our Lord and His boundless Grace. One of these is His Nativity, anticipated weeks in advance through fasting and prayerful preparation. Then after the celebration of His birth on December 25th, there are twelve days of special commemorations. This in turn, is followed by the commemoration and celebration of the ancient Feast of the Lord's Baptism. It is here the Word of God Incarnate, Jesus our Christ, is revealed to be the divine Son of the eternal Father and promised Messiah, clothed in flesh.

Sadly, the Feast of His Baptism is becoming more and more overlooked in the commercialized secular world of today. As a result, the ancient hymns of the Church often seem drowned out by the raucous blare of Madison Avenue and celebrations of the New Year. These worldly seductions can entice one to seek the glitter of this world first, participating in its vain folly. Let us be vigilant, not turning away from the Lord and His Covenant, favoring the empty cares of the world.

See the attached PDF files for this month's full teaching and to order the study booklets.